The Harlot’s Tale by Sam Thomas takes us back to 1645 York, England. A mystery using unique protagonists, religious fanatics, and the turmoil of the English Civil War, it grips the reader into a wonderfully entertaining mystery.
To end the severe summer heat, and to appease God, the Puritan leaders of York have begun an initiative to change the city’s sinners to “Godly Men”. But as prostitutes, their customers, and adulterers are being murdered, it is up to Bridget Hodgson and Martha Hawkins, both very intelligent and inquisitive midwives, and Will, Bridget’s nephew, to find the killer.
The 3 race against time to root out the killer even as he adds more deaths to his score. As almost everyone is a suspect, even the leaders of the city, the detectives must look at every detail closely and utilize the information they gather as midwives to find the truth and to end the suffering and death in York.
This book was a riveting mystery. I appreciated the author not making the murder scenes too violent; just enough to make the reader understand the evil that is the murderer. Thomas incorporated the religious, societal, and personal beliefs that defined this era into a mystery, using the goal of ending prostitution as the murder motive. Thomas utilized protagonists that were decently respectable but also knew the city’s secrets. This book had all the great twists only a whodunit can provide, and the fact that no one is known to be innocent. Through the inquisitive minds of the midwives of York, The Harlot’s Tale is a mystery involving religious radicals and the hard truth of prostitution in 1645 York, England.
(Sam Thomas-Author of The Harlot’s Tale)
Sam Thomas has a PhD in history with a focus on Reformation England and in 2013 leaped from the tenure track into a teaching position at a secondary school near Cleveland, Ohio. He has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, and the British Academy.
He has published articles on topics ranging from early modern Britain to colonial Africa.The Harlot’s Tale is the second book in his series, in which The Midwife’s Tale is the first.
Thomas lives in Ohio with his wife and two children.